Penalties on cancellation of SGR tickets increased by 10 percent

Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). PHOTO/COURTESY

By Edna Mwende

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has increased penalties for cancellation and rescheduling of the Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) tickets to discourage termination of bookings and to tame fraud at its train stations.

According to a news report by the Business Daily, the KRC said that passengers cancelling their booked trips would have a deduction increase of 10 percent to 30 percent from the previous 20 percent.

“Rescheduling attracts a fee of 10 per cent of the ticket price while refund a fee of 30 per cent of the ticket price. It should be done between 48-72 hours before the time of travel for individual and group bookings respectively,” said the KRC on its Twitter handle as quoted by the Business Daily.

An economy class ticket on the Nairobi-Mombasa route costs Ksh1,000 while a first-class ticket goes for Sh3,000. Therefore those cancelling trips will part with Ksh300 and Ksh900 respectively.

The rescheduling and cancellation of trips were at the core of a ticketing fraud, which saw the police arrest three Chinese officials and four Kenyans who were behind the SGR ticketing scandal.

The local daily similarly reported that the scam involved creating refunds for tickets already issued to passengers on board for each of the four trips and channeling the cash elsewhere.

Officials from Kenya Railways have raised the red flag over the alarming rate of refunds, leading to an investigation that is likely to dig up millions of shillings in lost revenue since President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the service.

Kenya earned nearly Ksh10.33 billion from the SGR in the first full year of operations according to the Business Daily report; in a move which shows that the project will take longer to break even whereas freight services generated nearly Ksh8.72 billion under in the year to December according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

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